Thursday, July 26, 2007

Soulive - "No Place Like Soul"

Further establishing their status as one of the preeminent soul/funk groups in music today, Soulive joins the famed Memphis soul label, Stax Records. The band's Stax debut, No Place Like Soul, is set for release July 31. The album marks the inaugural release by one of the label's trio of newly signed artists, which also includes Angie Stone and Isaac Hayes.

With the new addition of Toussaint, a vocalist who has spent the past several years touring with his reggae outfit The China Band, No Place Like Soul is the first Soulive album with a full-time vocalist and is the first that the band has recorded as a quartet since forming in 1999. Expanding upon the beat-driven instrumentals of 2005's Break Out, No Place Like Soul combines Toussaint's vocals with rich soul grooves that call to mind the band's legendary Stax predecessors. The album features 13 new tracks including standouts like the gospel-tinged “Waterfall,” the reggaefied hip-hop of “If This World Were A Song” and the infectious soul clap of “Comfort.” No Place Like Soul is produced by Stewart Lerman who has worked with such disparate talents as Loudon Wainwright III, Dar Williams and Vinicius Cantuaria.

Based in New York, Soulive is comprised of brothers Alan (drums) and Neal Evans (Hammond B-3 organ), as well as Eric Krasno (guitar) and Toussaint (vocals). The band has toured with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, John Mayer and Common and recorded with acclaimed artists such as Talib Kweli, Robert Randolph and Chaka Khan.

Soulive's full-length debut Turn It Out was released in 2000 to such critical acclaim that the band was promptly signed to Blue Note Records, who released 2001's Doin' Something. Blue Note then released 2002's Next, which featured collaborations with Black Thought, Talib Kweli and Dave Matthews. On 2005's Break Out, Soulive's first album on Concord Records, the band worked with Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville and Robert Randolph.

The album further broadened Soulive's fan base, relating to both new school hip-hop heads and to those who grew up on Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly & The Family Stone and Curtis Mayfield.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Stax Records--home to many of soul music's most enduring recordings--Concord Music Group is relaunching the famed soul label. Releasing hit after hit from Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MG's, Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave and The Staple Singers, among others, Stax Records pushed soul music to new heights. In a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and a slate of new signings, the relaunching of Stax will not only pay tribute to the label's past glories but also solidify its future. Soulive's No Place Like Soul is ample proof that the Stax legacy is as vital as ever.

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